2012-12-16 – When I travel, I usually like having oxygen in the atmosphere at the destination. It’s a little quirk I have.
Not all people agree. A trip to the moon would not be out of the question for them. A trip to the moon would be a little dicey for me, though I could see doing it based on the assumption that, after I took a quick look around, I could return to Earth. We have oxygen in the atmosphere on Earth. At least for now.
There are folks, however, who aren’t troubled by the need for oxygen. These are folks who are itching to travel to other star systems. The closest star system is Alpha Centauri, which is four light years away. At current space travel speeds, it would take you more than the entire span of human civilization to get to Alpha Centauri.
And once you are there? Then what?
I suppose it would be like pioneering people coming to the New World in the sixteenth century. A one way trip. But at least they weren’t worrying whether there would be air to breathe when they got there. Or even a planet to stand on. Of course, at current space travel speeds, you don’t really have to worry about arriving.
But folks are now actually talking about whether there might be a mechanism for warp drive. If possible, warp drive would dramatically shrink the distance between you and your destination and dramatically expand space between you and your point of departure.
Wake me up when you’ve figured this one out.